Texas Governor Greg Abbott has drawn intense criticism on social media on Sunday following his latest alleged migrant busing stunt, which saw people, including kids, shipped to the freezing cold Washington, D.C., on Christmas Eve.
Abbott, alongside fellow Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, generated controversy over the last year over his state’s new practice of busing undocumented immigrants and legal asylum seekers to Democratic-run cities, in an effort to send a message to his political opponents about security issues at the U.S.-Mexico border. These efforts have been sharply criticized, as it has emerged that the migrants have often been confused and led onto buses under dubious pretenses, though Texas has claimed that they are being sent to places where they have contacts to meet.
In the late hours of Christmas Eve, another busload of migrants arrived in Washington, D.C., near the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris. According to CNN reporter Noah Gray, the people onboard claimed to have traveled for two days from Texas. The weather in D.C. that night was well below freezing at 14 degrees Fahrenheit, with a strong wind chill making temperatures even more dangerous.
As a result of this latest busing effort so close to a major holiday, Abbott became the target of fierce condemnation online. Though it is known that the migrants arrived from Texas, it has not yet been confirmed that they were sent specifically by Abbott, though this has been the case in the past. Julián Castro, a Texas Democrat who previously served in former President Barack Obama‘s Cabinet and ran for president himself in 2020, declared on Twitter on Sunday that Abbott did not deserve to hold office.
“This is what @GreggAbbot_TX, who calls himself a Christian but who frequently doesn’t care enough about others to act like one, did to people for Christmas. Anybody willing to be this mean to people doesn’t belong in office,” Castro wrote.
“Governor Abbott claims to be a ‘pro-life Christian’ yet shows no regard for the lives of children left shivering in the freezing cold on Christmas Eve,” Ritchie Torres, a Democrat congressman from New York, wrote in a tweet. “Dropping off migrants in 18 degree weather is so cruel that it ought to be criminal.”
“Merry Christmas -AND- may Greg Abbott burn in hell for this,” Omari Hardy, a Democratic Florida state congressman, tweeted.
“Greg Abbott’s favorite Christmas activity is human trafficking,” Daniel Uhlfelder, a Florida-based attorney and politician, tweeted.
Meanwhile, Texas Representative Joaquin Castro went a step further, attacking Abbott’s fitness for higher office in the future.
“Worthless [Governor Abbott] dropping off people with no money and no means on Christmas Eve in 15 degree weather near the VP’s residence,” he tweeted. “How Christian of you, Greg Abbott. Being a heartless POS isn’t going to make you the next Republican President.”
Newsweek reached out to Abbott’s office for comment.